CHickens in Hot weather!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Delta2 23, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    We're predicted to have a recored breaking heatwave of a week over 40 degrees (Celsius) and then a further few weeks or so with temp. over 35 degrees.

    My chickens Feathers and Eggie are VERY VERY VERY VERY hot. I'm a bit worried about them. They are healthy and lay eggs and eat and drink well but they hold their wings out, open their beaks and pant all the time. They have shade and plenty of water but it's still boiling outside and the water goes warm by th time we get home. Also they won't eat their grain food when they're hot- only the veggies we put in the water.

    Will they be OK until this hideous summer is over? How can I cool them down a bit? I can't keep them in the house- no room and their coop is even hotter (they free range in the garden). I feed them ice cream sometimes- they Love it and always fight over it.

  2. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Although it doesn't get that warm where I am (very seldom over 100), I have heard of folks putting ice in their chickens water, or freezing milk jugs full of water for them to have a cool spot to rest next to. I Usually spray down the shaded area of their run with the hose a few times a day to keep the ground cool. They really like to play in the mud.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  3. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    I just answered this question from someone else in Australia!![​IMG]
    I am so sorry that you have so many problems!!!

    Here is what I told the other person:

    I wouldn't dunk them!! But I have heard of others that "lightly" spray their chickens with water spray or use a mister in the run.

    I have heard of hens that run toward the light spray with their wings outstretched!!!

    Do you have lots of ventilation in your coop??? You might want to water down the OUTSIDE of the coop to reduce heat. Do your chickens have a SHADY place to go in the daytime??? Can you cover part of your run???

    You might want to go to the SEARCH function in the blue line up above and then type in "hot weather" or other topics!!

    Most folks in the US are dealing with ice and snow storms right now and have a hard time getting their minds around 110F temps!!!

    Good Luck!!

  4. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    The thing is,

    a) the chickens don't stay in the coop- they free range in the garden.
    b) water shortages here, can't spray them
    c) I leave the house at 8am and come back at 6pm

    So thanks for the suggestions but I wouldn't be able to do some of them. The ice in the water is a good idea, but they'd melt in about half an hour [​IMG]
  5. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

    May 17, 2007
    Try a lawn sprinkler on a timer. I know water is short in parts of the country. Just be sure they have plenty of shade and more than one source of water. Keep it in the shade also, they don't seem to drink it when it get real hot.

    Good Luck,

  6. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    i live in texas,, this summer we had almost 2 months of 100+ degrees,,,, a lawn sprinkler,, and a kiddie pool are my birds FAVORITE things !!
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Response I just posted in a nearly identical thread:

    Provide lots of shade options.
    Breezes - run fans they that can choose to stand near and can choose to roost near (for roosting, not blowing directly on them, but circulating air in the room).
    Icy cold treats - watermelon etc. I put wedges of watermelon in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before serving and they love it on a hot day. Cantelope, berries - many fruits are enjoyed by chickens.
    Cool water available at all times - this may require putting chunks of ice in water bowls and then changing when melted and too warm.
    For really grizzly days a bit of electroltyes in their water or drizzled on their cold fruit (can use pedialtye in a pinch - must be kept refrigerated - or use one of the electrolyte recipes found here on BYC)
    No heavy foods in the heat of day.
    My birds have never ever appreciated being wet tho I hear some do. There are misters that bring down the air temp - you can search here on BYC for more info.
  8. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    As I shovel my way throught the snow it's real hard to remember warm weather let alone hot.
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    And maybe the easiest thing would be a kiddie pool of water in which they can stand- should be in the shade. Or use various containers throughout the yard. Apparently chickens can shed a lot of heat through their feet and many will duck their heads under water briefly and blow bubbles out the nares to cool their heads. I also realize many of you get water delivered and won't be using sprinklers, with many communities banning them anyway. If you can get one, I'd be tempted to buy one of those plug-in fountains to put somewhere in the yard to keep that water cooler.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your weather, CTV in Canada reporting hottest summer for you in 100 years. I know chickens mind the heat more than the cold and it's dangerous for you, too. Take care of yourselves, please.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  10. momofdrew

    momofdrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    It took a minute to realize that you weren't here in my country...I have 4 feet of snow at the moment...last summer i used a small fan set up in the shade near the house and they would sit in the breeze...or not it was their choise
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009

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